Friday, June 29, 2012
BFD: Obama(care) Survives
“a huge win for Obama, for whom the health-care legislation is a signature achievement.”
--Amy Gardner, Washington Post
We had an earlier post suggesting that a June combination of 1) a horrible jobs report, 2) the public sector unions’ failure to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and 3) a Supreme Court declaration that constitutional lawyer Obama’s signature achievement—Obamacare—was unconstitutional; that 1-2-3 would seriously damage Obama's re-election chances. The “why” is simple: Obama would look weak, ineffective, Jimmy Carter-like.
Obama surely does not look weak now, with his signature achievement surviving against what looked to be great odds that at least the Obamacare mandate would fall. If Obama would have looked weak in defeat, he looks powerful in victory. And the Supreme Court’s declaring Obamacare constitutional follows by two weeks Obama's likely unconstitutional but politically cleaver decision to decree the Dream Act into law by executive order, a move extremely popular with America’s large Hispanic minority.
The Obama team and their national elite allies are dedicated, bright, and formidable. As we have repeatedly suggested, a cornered animal fights most fiercely. Obama’s illegal Dream Act executive order will survive through election day—and that’s all that counts.
The Supreme Court’s surprise holding of Obamacare as constitutional, entirely the result of Chief Justice John Roberts voting with the Court’s liberal minority, owes a great deal, I believe, to the legacy media's softening-up of Roberts with story after story saying a 5-4 conservative vote to overturn Obamacare would solidify the “public’s” (read “liberal elite’s”) image of the Roberts Court as highly partisan, hard-right. Reading the stories, Roberts buckled.
Conservatives are finding silver linings in the ruling, including George Will (liberals denied future use of constitution's Commerce Clause; forced to defend tax increase on middle class) and Sean Trende of “RealClearPolitics” (Court's Medicaid ruling limits federal power over states; Roberts undercuts liberal critique of Court, thereby enhancing its long-term independence). Will and Trende make good points. I guess they have to.
In the end, Obama really turned around a negative June.